Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards

On this Page:

Director: John W. Lubinski
Deputy Director: Mark Franke

The Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards (NMSS) is responsible for the licensing and regulation of facilities and materials associated with the processing, transport, and handling of nuclear materials, including uranium recovery activities and the fuel used in commercial nuclear reactors.  Regulatory functions include the safe and secure decommissioning of reactor and materials sites; the safe storage, transportation, and disposal of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel; and the safe transportation of radioactive materials regulated under the Atomic Energy Act.  NMSS ensures safety and security by implementing regulatory programs for licensing, inspection, and assessment of licensee performance, events analysis, enforcement, and identification and resolution of generic issues.  NMSS implements the NRC’s Agreement State program, coordinates actions and communications with Native American Tribal Governments, and provides support for agency rulemaking, environmental review, and financial assurance projects.

Program Management, Policy Development and Analysis Staff

Director: Melissa Ralph

The Program Management, Policy Development, and Analysis staff (PMDA) provides leadership and coordinates strategic and programmatic planning, resource forecasting and allocation, budgeting through the Planning, Budgeting, and Performance Management process and analysis of the office's performance through coordination of the Performance Management Plan.  PMDA also manages and coordinates the execution of the office’s budget, financial plan, and associated contracting activities.  In addition, the PMDA staff provides administrative and management support in the areas of human resources management, training, information technology (IT), systems analysis, IT project management, and correspondence/action item control. The PMDA staff is responsible for maintaining office procedures and letters, ensuring that appropriate quality standards are maintained for work initiated at the office level, ensuring compliance with office and agency policies, standards and requirements, and for supporting and coordinating knowledge management activities, internal controls, Freedom of Information Act requests, office space, travel planning, and utilization of travel resources.  The PMDA staff represents the office by participating in intra-agency and inter-agency special project focus groups established to advise management both internally and across the agency.

Division of Materials Safety, Security, State, and Tribal Programs

Director: Kevin Williams
Deputy Director: Theresa Clark

The Division of Materials Safety, Security, State, and Tribal Programs (MSST) oversees and implements the National Materials Program to enable the safe and secure use of radioactive materials in medical, industrial, and academic applications for beneficial civilian purposes.  MSST has the programmatic oversight of the regional materials licensing, inspection, and enforcement activities, including establishing policy and procedures, events assessment and allegations management, and is responsible for the sealed source and device, general license, master materials license, and exempt distribution licensing programs.  MSST provides technical expertise in the development of licensing and inspection guidance for use of radioactive materials in medical, industrial, and academic applications and for materials rulemaking activities.  MSST oversees the development and implementation and integration of source security, including program enhancements.  MSST is responsible for coordination with Agreement States on Section 274i Agreements, policy issues, and the interface for safety and security issues.  MSST reviews Agreement State programs for continued adequacy to protect public health and safety and evaluates compatibility with the NRC's regulatory program through the Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation Program.  MSST establishes and maintains effective communications and working relationships between the NRC and States, local governments, other Federal agencies and Native American Tribal Governments to promote greater awareness and mutual understanding of the policies, activities, and concerns of all parties involved.

Division of Fuel Management

Director: Shana Helton
Deputy Director: Carrie Safford
Deputy Director: Jacob Zimmerman

The Division of Fuel Management (DFM) has regulatory responsibility for the front- and back-ends of the nuclear fuel cycle, including uranium conversion, enrichment, deconversion, and fuel manufacturing; spent fuel storage and transportation; transportation of radioactive materials; and ultimate disposal of fuel.  The division is also responsible for the certification of transportation packages for radioactive materials, licensing the use of special nuclear materials (SNM), control and accounting for SNM, and implementation of domestic and international safeguards at NRC-regulated facilities.  Maintains regulatory infrastructure to support licensing and inspection of fuel cycle facilities, including Integrated Safety Analysis reviews of facilities.  Directs NRC’s contingency planning and emergency response operations for accidents, events, incidents, threats, thefts, and radiological sabotage relating to licensed activities for fuel cycle facilities under its responsibility.  Conducts safety inspections of transport package and spent fuel storage system vendors.  Reviews, approves, and inspects quality assurance programs for fabrication of transportation packaging and dry storage systems.  Provides technical support to the Office of International Programs (OIP) for import and export licensing.  Coordinates with other Federal agencies for the implementation of international safeguards in the U.S.

Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery, and Waste Programs

Director: Jane Marshall
Deputy Director: Jeremy Groom

The Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery, and Waste Programs (DUWP) manages the NRC's program for the regulation of Decommissioning, Low Level Waste (LLW), and Uranium Recovery functional areas, including the implementation of the NRC’s materials, power, and non-power reactor decommissioning oversight programs.  DUWP oversees the licensing and inspection of new and operational conventional and in-situ uranium recovery facilities and also provides project management for licensees undergoing decommissioning including power reactors, RTRs, uranium recovery facilities, and materials facilities.  In accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act, DUWP consults with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on its incidental waste determinations for selected sites and monitors DOE’s incidental waste disposal activities.  DUWP represents the NRC in international waste management and decommissioning activities in coordination with OIP, as well as works in close coordination with other Federal agencies, States, and Native American Tribal Governments, licensees, and the public.

Division of Rulemaking, Environmental, and Financial Support

Director: Christopher M. Regan
Deputy Director: Tara Inverso
Deputy Director: John Moses

The Division of Rulemaking, Environmental, and Financial Support (REFS) provides project management and technical expertise for the agency’s rulemaking, environmental, and financial assessment activities. The division consists of three Centers of Expertise (COE): 

  • The Rulemaking COE leads the development of the technical, financial, legal, and administrative rules the NRC issues to regulate operating and new commercial nuclear power reactors, advanced reactor technologies, and non-power production and utilization facilities, and the use of nuclear materials. The Rulemaking COE prepares regulatory analyses for rules and other regulatory decisions and develops and implements policies and guidance for the NRC’s rulemaking program. The NRC’s Liaison Officer with the Office of the Federal Register is in the Rulemaking COE.
  • The Environmental COE leads environmental reviews for the NRC’s licensing actions as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act. The Environmental COE develops and issues Environmental Impact Statements and Environmental Assessments, and coordinates these activities with other Federal, State, Local, and Tribal agencies. The Environmental COE monitors licensee adherence to endangered species take limits and consults with other Federal agencies on endangered species and essential fish habitats. The REFS Director serves as the NRC’s Chief Environmental Review and Permitting Officer and the Federal Preservation Officer.
  • The Financial COE leads financial assurance reviews for NRC licensing actions and ensures licensee compliance with decommissioning funding assurance requirements. The financial COE prepares safety evaluations for power reactor and research and test reactors, applicants for new reactors, and for actions associated with license transfers and exemption requests in which financial qualifications and decommissioning funding assurance requirements for reactor licensees are assessed. The financial COE ensures compliance with power reactor financial protection requirements in the form of insurance and indemnity coverage, and evaluation of foreign ownership, control, or domination concerns for potential new licensees. The Financial COE ensures that materials and Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation licensees meet decommissioning funding assurance requirements.

Subsequent License Environmental Directorate

Director: Patricia Holahan
Deputy Director: Sherri Miotla

The Subsequent License Environmental Directorate (SLED) was established to implement the Commission’s direction to ensure that the NRC’s environmental regulations, supporting analyses, and guidance fully support the subsequent renewal of nuclear power plant operating licenses. SLED is responsible for the leadership and developmental activities required to accomplish the following within 24 months (April 2024): (1) a rulemaking to amend Table B–1, “Summary of Findings on NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] Issues for License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants,” in Appendix B, “Environmental Effect of Renewing the Operating License of a Nuclear Power Plant,” to Subpart A, “National Environmental Policy Act—Regulations Implementing Section 102(2),” of Part 51 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, “Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions;” and (2) an update of NUREG-1437, Revision 1, “Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants,” (License Renewal GEIS). To accomplish these objectives, SLED will conduct a thorough analysis of the environmental impacts of subsequent license renewal to expand the applicability of the License Renewal GEIS to SLR. As part of this update, SLED will also consider changes to applicable laws and regulations, new data, and experience in conducting similar environmental reviews to update the analysis in the License Renewal GEIS for initial license renewals as well. Additionally, SLED will update associated guidance for consistency. Please see the “License Renewal Generic Environmental Review,” for additional information and rulemaking status.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, March 07, 2023